NEIPA/Hazy brew overly bitter - undrinkable

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Brian66

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I brew small batch - 2 1/2 gal BIAB batches. I've been having a problem with NEIPA batches having extreme bitterness making the beer undrinkable. Often the beer has the proper aroma - fruity, citrusy but it tastes bad.

I've had this experience with a few different yeasts - White labs Burlington ale yeast (WLP095), wyeast london ale III (1318) and dry Lallemand East coast yeast.

The issue happens in the fermenter and after dry hopping. For these NEIPAs I am not doing any bittering hops - I am adding hops at flameout and then I do some whirlpool hops at 160F-170F. I usually dry hop around day 2 or 3 and again around day 7-8. I always dry hop in hop sacks.

Hop amounts are usually
Flame Out or last 5 mins of boil - 2oz
WP - 2oz
1st dry hop - 2oz
2nd dry hop - 2oz-4oz

I think I'm ruling out water since I've brewed a NEIPA kit twice from my LHBS that comes with a water mineral pack and you use distilled water - I still have the issue.

I have a hazy pale ale that is carbonating now that doesn't have this bitterness. I used S-04 yeast and it has less dry hops than the NEIPAs I've brewed. Plus when I went to dry hop around day three, it was almost done fermenting.

I don't seem to have this issue with american IPAs, pale ales and lagers. I have a stainless steel Anvil fermentor. For ales I ferment in my basement where the temperature is a relatively constant temperature between 62F-64F and fermentations are around 68F. I will usually move the fermenter upstairs near the end of fermentation where the room temperature is around 70F

What I've found out is that if I cold crash and after the beer sits in a cold keg for a couple of weeks the bitterness reduces but doesn't fully go away - there's no juiciness to the flavor. The beer also doesn't have not the normal NEIPA haze.

This almost seems to be an issue with hop particles still in suspension. But I can't seem to eliminate the bitterness and I don't get the juicy flavor at all - even after being cold in the keg for weeks.

Could this be just the case of too many hops? I've only had this issue for the last 1-2 years, I did have some NEIPA batches before that that were good.

I don't know what to do/try at this point. Any help or suggestions is appreciated.
 

RM-MN

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Your 2 ounces of hops at flame out are adding bitterness which continues during your whirlpool during which you added 2 more ounces of hops which also add bitterness until the temperature goes below about 170. Try reducing those hops and your bitterness will go down. Save them for the next batch or use them for additional dry hopping.
 
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Brian66

Brian66

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Your 2 ounces of hops at flame out are adding bitterness which continues during your whirlpool during which you added 2 more ounces of hops which also add bitterness until the temperature goes below about 170. Try reducing those hops and your bitterness will go down. Save them for the next batch or use them for additional dry hopping.

Thanks for the reply - I'll try that. Would the excessive bitterness be the reason there's no fruity/juicy flavor but it's still smells fruity/juicy?
 
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There are a lot of opinions on how to dry hop a neipa. I'd skip that first dry hop and add them all 2 to 3 days before packaging. The other thing I would do is a soft crash before dryhopping to drop the yeast out before adding your hops, this will help avoid hop creep. I soft crash to 45f for 24 hours. Then dry hop at 55f for 2 or 3 days then cold crash for 36 hour or more then keg. That's been a good practice for me but everyone had different procedures depending on equipment and preferences.
 

youngdh

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I brew small batch - 2 1/2 gal BIAB batches. I've been having a problem with NEIPA batches having extreme bitterness making the beer undrinkable. Often the beer has the proper aroma - fruity, citrusy but it tastes bad.

I've had this experience with a few different yeasts - White labs Burlington ale yeast (WLP095), wyeast london ale III (1318) and dry Lallemand East coast yeast.

The issue happens in the fermenter and after dry hopping. For these NEIPAs I am not doing any bittering hops - I am adding hops at flameout and then I do some whirlpool hops at 160F-170F. I usually dry hop around day 2 or 3 and again around day 7-8. I always dry hop in hop sacks.

Hop amounts are usually
Flame Out or last 5 mins of boil - 2oz
WP - 2oz
1st dry hop - 2oz
2nd dry hop - 2oz-4oz

I think I'm ruling out water since I've brewed a NEIPA kit twice from my LHBS that comes with a water mineral pack and you use distilled water - I still have the issue.

I have a hazy pale ale that is carbonating now that doesn't have this bitterness. I used S-04 yeast and it has less dry hops than the NEIPAs I've brewed. Plus when I went to dry hop around day three, it was almost done fermenting.

I don't seem to have this issue with american IPAs, pale ales and lagers. I have a stainless steel Anvil fermentor. For ales I ferment in my basement where the temperature is a relatively constant temperature between 62F-64F and fermentations are around 68F. I will usually move the fermenter upstairs near the end of fermentation where the room temperature is around 70F

What I've found out is that if I cold crash and after the beer sits in a cold keg for a couple of weeks the bitterness reduces but doesn't fully go away - there's no juiciness to the flavor. The beer also doesn't have not the normal NEIPA haze.

This almost seems to be an issue with hop particles still in suspension. But I can't seem to eliminate the bitterness and I don't get the juicy flavor at all - even after being cold in the keg for weeks.

Could this be just the case of too many hops? I've only had this issue for the last 1-2 years, I did have some NEIPA batches before that that were good.

I don't know what to do/try at this point. Any help or suggestions is appreciated.
I had a similar experience a couple of years ago doing my session NEIPA where my dry hop was Galaxy. Even after cold crashing I couldn’t get rid of that “back of the throat” dank bitterness taste. It was undrinkable! I was close to dumping the batch when I read that some hop varieties contain high amounts of polyphenols that get left in suspension of which Galaxy was one of those varieties. It was suggested to add some Biofine to the keg and give it a couple of more weeks to allow the polyphenols to bind up and drop out. Viola! That worked and I saved a batch of beer!! I also agree with other responses here that you will still get cold side IBUs in your whirlpool addition and your dry hop. If using high alpha acid hops for that considering adjusting the amount of hops and/or duration of hop contact.
 

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I had the same problem recently with a beer I dryhopped with Cryo pellets. Suspended lupulin solids made the beer undrinkably bitter, that back-of-the-throat burn. Fined it with gelatin and lagered for a month and it is fine now. Great hop nose but surprisingly little hop flavor though.
 
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Brian66

Brian66

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Thanks for the input. I'll try another NEIPA in the next few weeks and try these suggestions and report back.
 

Deka22

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Had this experience too. Did you bag or basket your whirlpool and flameout hops. If not try it. Solved my problem..
 
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Brian66

Brian66

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I always bag my hop additions. I'm working on a NEIPA now. I did no flame out hops, cut back on the whirlpool hops (done at 165F). I waited 7 days to dry hop - I meant to crash to 45F first but forgot, so I put the fermenter outside since temps outside were around 47F-55F. Then I dry hopped a second time. I think it has greatly reduced the bitterness - will know better later this week.
 
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Brian66

Brian66

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There are a lot of opinions on how to dry hop a neipa. I'd skip that first dry hop and add them all 2 to 3 days before packaging. The other thing I would do is a soft crash before dryhopping to drop the yeast out before adding your hops, this will help avoid hop creep. I soft crash to 45f for 24 hours. Then dry hop at 55f for 2 or 3 days then cold crash for 36 hour or more then keg. That's been a good practice for me but everyone had different procedures depending on equipment and preferences.
OK - So I followed this process on my latest NEIPA and the results are much better. No bitterness, the smell is really good. I just need a little more juiciness in the taste.

Thanks for the tips - they have helped tremendously!

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Arimanari

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I know that this has been resolved now, but I can't not wonder why using so much hops at flameout/wp on a 2.5 gallon batch. If your bittering hops were used properly for an expected 50-75IBU, those 2 additions you made at the end probably raised the bitterness to over 120IBUs, unless you cooled the wort in under 2-3 minutes (which would pretty much make the additions worthless and should have simply dry-hopped it later).
For comparison, the amount of hops you used at flameout/wp, is what I'd use for my 25-30 gallon batches. The added bitterness is minimal for this volume. Cheers!
 

JoeSpartaNJ

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I had a similar experience a couple of years ago doing my session NEIPA where my dry hop was Galaxy. Even after cold crashing I couldn’t get rid of that “back of the throat” dank bitterness taste. It was undrinkable! I was close to dumping the batch when I read that some hop varieties contain high amounts of polyphenols that get left in suspension of which Galaxy was one of those varieties. It was suggested to add some Biofine to the keg and give it a couple of more weeks to allow the polyphenols to bind up and drop out. Viola! That worked and I saved a batch of beer!! I also agree with other responses here that you will still get cold side IBUs in your whirlpool addition and your dry hop. If using high alpha acid hops for that considering adjusting the amount of hops and/or duration of hop contact.

I've had so many issues with Galaxy. Totally dominate and overly bitter.

I think the crops get worse and worse.

I have stopped using it all together.
 

Deka22

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I know that this has been resolved now, but I can't not wonder why using so much hops at flameout/wp on a 2.5 gallon batch. If your bittering hops were used properly for an expected 50-75IBU, those 2 additions you made at the end probably raised the bitterness to over 120IBUs, unless you cooled the wort in under 2-3 minutes (which would pretty much make the additions worthless and should have simply dry-hopped it later).
For comparison, the amount of hops you used at flameout/wp, is what I'd use for my 25-30 gallon batches. The added bitterness is minimal for this volume. Cheers!
The 1st thing i would say is this thread had nothing to do with bittering hops so disregard the 50 to 75 IBU you spoke about. Neipas dont need to have any bittering additions. Many example start with whirlpool that sit at below boiling temperature for between 10 and 30 mins and are followed by a dry hop. I am aware IBU's are added with these methods but it doesnt need to be solely for bittering
 

wepeeler

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Another thing which will help is to soft cold crash before dry hopping. Some hops interact with yeast and cause harshness, especially when the beer is young. It subsides a little in the keg, but it can take awhile, and you can lose some freshness of the hops if you have to wait too long to drink it. Try to drop beer to 50F for 24-48 hours before DHing. You can let it free rise back to 65-70 if you want, but I'd get it off the hops within 48 hours. That's helped my NEIPAs immensely.
 

Bobby_M

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Nothing in the thread lists the alpha acids of any of the hop additions. If you're putting 2oz of 18%AA hops in with a 5 minute addition, that would be pretty harsh. The mention of the bitterness really showing up after dry hopping suggests you're picking up hop burn, which does go away over time cold conditioning, but 4-6oz of dry hop in a 2.5 gallon batch is quite a lot of oil to deal with. I typically stick to 1oz per gallon in whirlpool and 1oz per gallon in the dry hop. If you want extreme tropical aromas and flavors, try using Omega Cosmic Punch or Helio Gazer yeast and you can even back off the dry hop more.
 
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Brian66

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This is not totally resolved. For my NEIPA's I never add any hops before flame out. The suggestion to crash to 50F before dry hopping is what stopped the bitterness. But I still don't get the juiciness I used to get - it's at least good to drink now.

Bobby_M is correct in my scenario. I have narrowed down that the bitterness happened during dry hopping - however it didn't go away over time. The bitterness may have dropped some but was still undrinkable after 1-2 months of aging.

I was experimenting with different yeasts while trying to resolve this and I was using Verdant dry yeast when I finally accomplished no bitterness - although I don't think it was the yeast but the soft crash.

Next I'm going to try the soft crash, maybe raise the temp up a little and use London III yeast.
 

wepeeler

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This is not totally resolved. For my NEIPA's I never add any hops before flame out. The suggestion to crash to 50F before dry hopping is what stopped the bitterness. But I still don't get the juiciness I used to get - it's at least good to drink now.

Bobby_M is correct in my scenario. I have narrowed down that the bitterness happened during dry hopping - however it didn't go away over time. The bitterness may have dropped some but was still undrinkable after 1-2 months of aging.

I was experimenting with different yeasts while trying to resolve this and I was using Verdant dry yeast when I finally accomplished no bitterness - although I don't think it was the yeast but the soft crash.

Next I'm going to try the soft crash, maybe raise the temp up a little and use London III yeast.
There's no way your harsh bitterness came from dry hopping. Crashing to 50F before dry hopping should fix the early harshness, but if you're getting too much bitterness, it's from hops prior to DHing.
 
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Brian66

Brian66

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There's no way your harsh bitterness came from dry hopping. Crashing to 50F before dry hopping should fix the early harshness, but if you're getting too much bitterness, it's from hops prior to DHing.
I disagree - from experience. As soon as I stopped dry hopping during fermentation and soft crashed, the bitterness went away. I understand in theory it may not make sense but this is what happened. I literally had at least 5 brews that were so bitter they were undrinkable with only FO hops and dry hopping. I've already proved through these batches that it wasn't the FO hops.
 

wepeeler

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I disagree - from experience. As soon as I stopped dry hopping during fermentation and soft crashed, the bitterness went away. I understand in theory it may not make sense but this is what happened. I literally had at least 5 brews that were so bitter they were undrinkable with only FO hops and dry hopping. I've already proved through these batches that it wasn't the FO hops.
That's literally what I said. Soft crash to drop yeast, then DH...
 

Bobby_M

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There's no way your harsh bitterness came from dry hopping. Crashing to 50F before dry hopping should fix the early harshness, but if you're getting too much bitterness, it's from hops prior to DHing.

If you're separating hop bitterness from hop burn, I'd agree. Hop burn is not the same as isomerized acids but I also don't trust that everyone that mentions a harsh bitterness knows the difference. Hop burn from suspended hop oils is harsh and unpleasant whether you call it bitter or not (I do).
 

wepeeler

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If you're separating hop bitterness from hop burn, I'd agree. Hop burn is not the same as isomerized acids but I also don't trust that everyone that mentions a harsh bitterness knows the difference. Hop burn from suspended hop oils is harsh and unpleasant whether you call it bitter or not (I do).
That's what I was getting at. Hop burn and too bitter are different though. Definitely taste different. I'm not a fan of either!
 

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@Brian66 your setup sounds like mine. Just to be clear, when you say you brew 2.5 gal batches, is that your starting volume or do you start around 4 gals and end up with 2 1/2 gal?, also you mentioned distilled water, what are your water additions?, gypsum and CaCl2?, and what’s your mash pH, mash temperature and typical malts?, what’s your typical OG/FG?. Water additions/mash pH will influence final bitterness as well as mash temp/OG/FG will determine flavor, final mouthfeel and the capacity of your beer in balancing bitterness.
 
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Brian66

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Apologies for misreading some of the posts.

When I say I brew 2.5 gallons - that is the ending volume. I start around 4 gallons. The times I've used distilled water I was using a mineral packet that came with the recipe. The rest of the time I use home filtered water - I've sent this out for analysis and from what I understand the water in my town does not change sources throughout the year. So I use the water analysis result with Brun water. It's usually additions of Gypsum and CaCl2 to get the water to about 5.2 - 5.3 PH. Mash temp is usually between 148-153. Grains I use:

2 row 71.4%
white wheat 14.3%
Flaked oats 10.7%
Honey malt 3.6%

I've only measured OG/FG of the fermentation. Typically OG is around 1.057 and FT around 1.014-1.012

I recently bought a PH meter and check the PH part way through the mash and adjust. This has also helped with the end result.

editing to add: I am now only doing whirlpool hops at 170F and dry hop after soft crash
 
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HM-2

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This is not totally resolved. For my NEIPA's I never add any hops before flame out.
What temperature are you whirlpooling at? You'll get far more bitterness extraction from a flameout zero minute addition than you will whirlpooling at ~70-75°C. 2oz of something really high AA at flameout can easily add 30-40 IBU on its own.

I would also say based on the post at the top of the thread your WP additions are quite small even for a 2.5G batch, and that might result in you not getting the level of juiciness you'd expect. I'd be shooting for a minimum of 3.5-4oz in the whirlpool and pushing the WP temperature down into the low 70°C range (and possibly lengthening to 30m)


-Edit

Okay I missed your comment above about 170. But if you're still doing a 0m flameout, I'd drop that and shunt those hops into your WP. I use a token ~15-20 IBU bittering charge at 30 or 60 in my hazies and no other hops touch the wort until it's down to 75°C or below.

Also I would personally say your FG is a bit low. I also spent a long time shooting for FG in the 1.012-1.014 range for my hazies and often had issues with harsh or prickly bitterness that took weeks or months to round out. I now shoot for 1.018-1.020 in my 7-8% ABV beers and find the added sweetness rounds things out much better.
 
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rmchair

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Just a thought. Some people with xtra hard water report an “on the tongue” bitterness attributed to pbw residue from cleaning the fermentor. I think of the hop burn as more back of throat, like heartburn. Even with a starsan rinse your equipment might not come clean if you soak for long periods in pbw or (reuse the starsan maybe.)
I wouldnt probably ever dump a hop burn batch.
 
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